Applying for Human Ethics Clearance

The University of Queensland’s Human Research Ethics Committees accept applications using the NHMRC’s Human Research Ethics Application (HREA)

Under the National Mutual Acceptance model for Queensland Public Hospitals (Queensland Health Hospitals) and those from other states, there is still a requirement to use the online forms.

Should you have any questions, please contact the HREC to which you will apply.


UQ Human Research Ethics Committees

The University of Queensland has two NHMRC-registered multi-disciplinary HRECs – UQ Human Research Ethics Committee A and UQ Human Research Ethics Committee B. Each HREC meets monthly on an alternating fortnightly basis.


Ethical Review Pathways

Full Review - All research involving humans that is greater than low or negligible risk must be reviewed by one of UQ’s central HRECs in a full committee meeting.

Full HREC review is also required when applications are:

regarding research that is concerning:

  • Requesting a waiver of consent to access a peron's personal information in medical research, or personal health information;
  • Women who are pregnant, and the human fetus;
  • People who are highly dependent on medical care who may be unable to give consent;
  • People with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability or mental illness;
  • People who may be involved in illegal activities;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Ratifications – UQ researchers who have obtained external ethics approval may submit the external notification of approval and all approved documentation for administrative review. Documents can be submitted via email to

Low or Negligible Risk – Faculty-based ethics review is available for low or negligible risk research projects for both staff and students.

Please refer to the Low and Negligible Risk page for more information.

Exemption from Human Research Ethics

Researchers can apply for exemption from ethics review; however, should the request not be approved, researchers will be required to apply to the relevant ethics body at the University (full HREC review or LNR Sub-Committee review). Requests for exemption must be made using the approved form and lodged with the Office of Research Ethics. For further information please see Requesting Exemption from Human Research Ethics Review:

Should you have any questions regarding the University's human ethics process, please do not hesitate to contact Nic Makoviney at

 Contact Officers:






To download these calendars as a PDF please select:

2019 Calendar


As a general principle, the University does not require the application of an administrative fee to the processing of a protocol submitted to any of the institution's animal and human ethics committees for research or teaching when the protocol/project is conducted by a UQ student or staff member (in such capacities) AND infrastructure costs are included where applicable (see PPL 4.10.12 "Recovery of Indirect Research Costs from Research Funding and Consultancy Contracts").  
Examples of ethics applications not attracting fees are: 
  • Undergraduate teaching protocols
  • Postgraduate research projects leading to the award of honours, Master of Philosophy, PhD
  • Research projects funded by agencies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council or Australian Research Council or Australian Kidney Foundation
  • Research project conducted by UQ academic staff member that is sponsored by a large national Australian company but the full rate of infrastructure costs have been recovered and the funds are administered by the University (say, as a source 4 account)
  • Start-up companies where UQ has an interest and UQ is contracted to perform the research study with the full rate of infrastructure costs recovered and contract funds are administered by the University. This is much the same scenario as the previous example except that a start-up company in which UQ has an "interest" is involved 


An "appeal" here means a written submission from a researcher to the Chairperson of the approving Committee (in the first instance) about a dispute. 


Appeals regarding HREC rejection

Where the HREC has rejected an application, the investigator has the discretion to:

  • Submit a new application to the same HREC, taking due account of the HREC’s concerns; or
  • Lodge an appeal with the HREC Chairperson (via the Committee Secretariat) specifying the grounds of the appeal in writing. The HREC Chairperson will respond directly to the appellant regarding the outcome of the review.


Appeals regarding HREC approval

Where the HREC has given a favourable decision on an application and

  • An ethical or scientific issue is subsequently identified by any party; or
  • It has become apparent that the decision was based on inconsistent application of policy and guidelines

A written appeal is lodged with the Chairperson (via the Committee Secretariat) in the first instance.


Appeals to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

If the appellant considers the HREC has failed to follow due process after making an appeal in line with the above and remains unsatisfied with the outcome, they have the discretion to lodge an appeal with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or request that the Chairperson do so through the Committee Secretariat in the first instance. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) may refer the matter to another UQ HREC, external HREC, or seek other expert advice as appropriate.

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